Saturday, October 24, 2009

Rewinding to the Past

I know that I have been writing what is going on right now. However, for the sake of my blog buddies I am going to back it up a little. Also I guess because this is so close to when it all happened. You see on November sixth it will be ten years since I knew that I had a mental illness. On November sixth of 1999 was the day that will live in infamy for me. It’s the day I was truly convinced I was going to take my own life! Yes, it’s true that since then I have had suicidal thoughts and I was even hospitalized in 2006 for that, but this was the only time I was ACTUALLY toying with the notion I would. It’s like the other times I didn’t want to, but I had the thought. This very first time, I was seeing myself DEAD.

Anyway, that night my R.A. took me to the hospital after I called the crisis line. They gave me two choices, I could either sign myself into the mental health unit or I could get court ordered. Well, I made a big show of things and finally I was escorted by four uniform police officers to the mental health unit. Now I knew there was something wrong before that, for about two months, I wasn’t eating, sleeping, or bathing. My friends on campus tried to help me. Then my mind started playing tricks on me.

Now, what this is really about. After my parents took me back home to Chicago from the recovery house two weeks later, I still didn’t know up from down. I would say I lived in a fog for the next five years. They had no idea what medicine to give me and they weren’t even sure of my diagnosis. I would have frequent panic attacks and had no skills to combat them. Sometimes they would get so bad, it felt like the whole world knew. What I mean is I remember one time I got a panic attack in the church my family belong to in Chicago and I walked out. However, when I was outside, I presided to talk to myself out loud, wiggle my hands like crazy, and pace up and down. Our deacon found me and took me to the rectory to calm me down. The usher, who didn’t know my illness, quickly told my parents that I was in the rectory and they needed to come quick. That was just one incident of many.

Well, what change all that? My parents and I moved here to New York. You can go on the NAMI page, New York scores higher than Illinois in mental health care. Actually, though for the first two years I lived here, I was still in that fog. My panic attacks had gotten so bad, that I would literally lie on the floor and pull my hair out. Sometimes they would set off schizophrenic episodes. In December of 2003 was when I first starting hearing voices. Before that all my hallucinations where visual, when they became audio, it scared the shit out of me. Then I decided to do something about it. I signed up to be admitted in a day program for mentally ill people. In the spring of 2004, I started at a program in Saratoga Springs called Friendship House and I learned a whole new way of thinking. A lot of times what I compare it to is that a mentally ill person needs to learn their manners again. It’s like when I was getting nervous before the whole world had to know it, thus scaring the ushers and later pulling my hair out. Now I take nice even breathes and do the trauma sequence of touch field therapy.

Yes, there is life after a mental illness, but it takes time. I will also point out that I wasn’t placed on a medicine that would really help me until 2001 and was off of it for six months prior to hearing the voices. I was trying a different medicine with the doctor’s care so I could lose weight! I guess that’s one of the reasons it’s scary for me right now, going on a new medicine. There is no blood test for a mental illness that they can give you and can say this is going to work for you! If you’re or someone you love is still in the fog remember, first the medicine, then the therapy, and then a new life!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Getting Personal

I have just realized that I usually talk in a general format and not about my personal life. Tonight I want to talk about what’s going on in my life. Particularly my new medicine change, I been on one medicine for my schizophrenia for three years now. It has made me gain so much weight! I have literally doubled in size. At first, I thought changing meds when it was first brought up to me, would be a vain thing. However, I change in front of the mirror in my bedroom and I think of what I used to look like. I’ve also decided that not wanting to reach three hundred pounds is not vain, it’s a health issue.

Since gaining all this weight, health problems have arisen. I have high blood pressure, pre – diabetes, and a worse injury to my knee (yes, Amber if I was only half my size and fell down your stairs, I probably wouldn’t still be in physical therapy). Now the high blood pressure and the diabetes runs in my family, but ALL of those in my family that have that got it at a much older age. Also my digestive system is pretty whacked out. Now I don’t think that it’s directly caused from my weight, but the medicine I am on makes me hungry. Now I do take responsibility here and say that I control what goes in my mouth. However, when you get hunger pains and want something your not suppose to have it’s hard.

I am a little scared trying this new medicine. My regular psychiatrist, the female Dr. L,. is out on maternity leave, but she has been encouraging me to try a new medicine for quite some time now. I trust her. She said before she went on maternity leave, when she assigned me to see another doctor in her place, that if I wanted to try the new medicine while she was away it was o.k. My temporary psychiatrist the male Dr. L. (their not related or married;) was very open to the idea of trying a new medicine. He just wanted to tell me the two medicines that are known for not gaining weight only have a twenty to a fifty percent success rate among schizophrenics. However, I still wanted to try it. The male Dr. L. told me that some of the older medicine is not known for gaining weight, but I said that I would rather stick to the newer generation of schizophrenic medicines.

Tomorrow will be my first day on the new medicine. You probably want to know what it is, but this is a public blog and I don’t advertise for drug companies. The important thing is I am living a fearless life and trying something new. I hope that you all will keep me in your thoughts and prayers. Thanks for reading!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Life goes on
By Amanda Robin

Mom gets her knee sliced open
Like a cantaloupe
And Dad still has to pay
The bills that come
Like a wave.

I fall down stairs
But you know what?
Before I did
I did something wonderful
Something that would
Change the way people

People die
Dogs are put to sleep
Hurricanes destroy houses
But life goes on!